Tegretol – Day 4

anastasiia-ostapovych-1627028-unsplash

Whoa, I have been through such a variety of side effects with Tegretol, almost a new one each day!

The first day was fine, just a bit of dizziness and loss of balance, nothing unusual.

Day two was worse, I was high and euphoric and so intensely itchy.  I was very careful not to itch anything and to only rub the areas that were itchy, but it drove me mildly insane.  The only benefit was, well … I was high.  So it bothered me, but not that much.

The itchiness began on my neck and shoulders and spread down my arms.  I couldn’t wear anything on my arms, because it went beyond itching into pain.  My legs itched, my back itched, my waist itched, even my breasts, and under them, itched!

When I lay down to nap that night, I noticed sharp stabbing pains up my arms and legs.  It wasn’t overly bad, more like the sensation of a decent sized needle, only in a larger area.  I still fell asleep.  Boy does the Tegretol help with sleep!

Day three I was high as a fucking kite, I was euphoric and joyous and I could have sat and watched the tree outside move in the wind all day.  I was dizzy, had difficulty focusing my eyes, and my balance was gone.  It was only through intense strength of will that I could walk straight.

Day four I’m still pretty high and euphoric and my balance is still out of it.  My tinnitus is louder.  My hearing is hypersensitive and I’m more reactive to sounds.  My skin is hypersensitive to texture, and even my usually comfortable clothing is a bit too much.  It would be a problem if I weren’t so chill and happy about everything.

Now one very important thing of note, if anyone is reading this blog specifically for the side effects I have been experiencing, Tegretol can induce some very serious and potentially fatal skin reactions.  If you, or someone you know who is taking Tegretol, are experiencing any itching, rashes, blisters (this includes in your mouth, on your tongue, or on your lips), or skin discolouration, THIS IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY, PLEASE SEEK MEDICAL TREATMENT IMMEDIATELY.  These are symptoms that your skin is possibly going to begin to necrose.

I and my amazing human are monitoring me very closely for any rashes or skin discolouration in light of my itching.  Hopefully my skin decides to stay alive and in one piece!

Massage Therapy and Fibromyalgia

toa-heftiba-578099-unsplash

I have always found I benefited from a deep tissue massage.  When working in my more boutique workplaces, we would have heavily subsidised 15-20 minute back massages every fortnight in the office.  The good ones would get right in there with their thumbs and elbows, while the not so good ones would give a formulaic “back rub”.

Unfortunately for me the waiting list for the local (good) masseuse is … rather long, and they’re not exactly cheap.  Which is good, they are worth the money, only it’s money I don’t have for regular massages.  So when a shiatsu massage pillow came up for sale on one of the facebook groups I’m on, I leaped at the chance!

I’ve had it for just over a week now.  I’ve used it every night.  It is amazing.

The first night I wholeheartedly over did it.  I slowly worked my way down my entire back, pressed the shiatsu balls to my hips and legs, to the pressure points around my knees.  It was too much at once, and while I felt sick the next day, I also felt less painful.

I’ve used it almost every night since and I have seen a tremendous improvement in my overall wellbeing.  I typically spend an hour slowly working my way down my back.  I really notice when I haven’t done my lower back properly – my hips ache a lot more if I haven’t.  I go all the way to the ischial tuberosity in the butt cheeks.  If I have time, I do the undersides of my thighs and my calves, by propping the massage pillow up on another pillow while sitting on the couch.

For me, I feel like a lot of my issues stem from nervous innervation from my lower back – these are the areas that are most affected for me, from my gastrointestinal tract downwards.  It stands to reason, then, that heated massage to bring circulation and relaxation to my lower back would improve things.

And it really, really has.  I haven’t been using my cane as much.  I’ve been doing more, feeling better, having a clearer head, and being in less pain.  It has been amazing.

I’m now eyeballing what I can get to do the entirety of my back in one sitting, instead of having to ease the pillow down step by step (and missing bits of my back) over an hour.  I’m sure there’ll be something suitable!